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Teachers at the Annual Conference of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union in Birmingham have called for governments across the UK to apply and enforce maximum class size limits and for action to be taken against schools that fail to heed them.
 
Teachers believe that increasing class sizes are undermining pupils’ educational progress and adding to teachers’ already excessive workload.
 
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
 
“Class sizes are increasing for a number of reasons, including cuts to teaching staff, the failure to recruit and retain teachers and demographic changes in pupil numbers for which governments and employers have failed to plan effectively
 
“Pupils cannot receive their entitlement to high quality education when they are crammed into workspaces designed for much smaller groups of pupils or when teachers have no time or opportunity to provide pupils with the individual attention they need.
 
“In practical subjects, large class sizes can be dangerous to the health and safety of pupils or can result in certain activities such as practical experiments in science being cut in the interests of health and safety. 
 
“There is some limited statutory regulation in place around class sizes but even this is inadequate and regulation and statutory provisions are meaningless unless they are enforced.
 
“The introduction of statutory class size limits would benefit both pupils and teachers and contribute to raising attainment among children and young people, an aim which all governments should support.”

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